Football

Rodgers hails wonder goals

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers savoured "two wonderful moments", after long-range strikes from Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho earned a 2-1 win over Manchester City at Anfield.

Henderson rifled in an early opener and Coutinho, making a habit of scoring outstanding goals, provided the winner in the 75th minute after Edin Dzeko had brought City level.

Defeat was a huge blow to City's hopes of retaining the Premier League title, but boosted Liverpool's prospects of a top-four finish.

Rodgers (above) said his players had returned from their Europa League defeat by Besiktas at 4.30am on Friday morning, and had been allowed to sleep through the day, returning to training on Saturday.

"To come out and play like that as they did today, to restrict City to one shot on target. I thought the players were incredible. They deserve all the praise they get for the performance and the result," Rodgers said.

"The character of this team was questioned at the beginning of the season. That was never the case. They've worked - and they're getting the results from that.

"To keep it going right the way through 90 minutes, I was so pleased with the players."

Asked about the Liverpool goals, he said: "It was two wonderful moments."

The Coutinho finish was particularly pleasing to Rodgers.

"We said he has to improve his goals because of the quality he has," said the Liverpool boss.

"He's now shooting like a proper Brazilian."

City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who defended his team selection, admitted his players failed to control the game.

"Playing two up front at Anfield was the best decision," he said.

"It was a close game and they won the game when we had one striker on.

"I'm concerned that we are losing the ball too much - pressure is a factor. There is much we must analyse to improve." 
- Wire Services.